Law Life

Treadmill Running–Why & How
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Although most people refer to the machine as “the dreadmill,” I’m actually one of those rare people who enjoys running on the treadmill. Call me crazy, but I like the comfort and consistency of it. Maybe I’m a just a girl who doesn’t like the unknown, or I just like having my water bottle at hand and a bathroom nearby. Either way, I’m going to try to convince you that treadmill running isn’t as awful as you think!

First, there are several benefits to treadmill running over running out doors. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to argue that there aren’t pros to running outside, but today’s post is all about the benefits of running on a treadmill.

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First and foremost: Safety. I’m a 20-something girl living in a big city and when I have to run in the morning or at night my only option outside is total darkness. I’m personally not comfortable hitting the lakefront path at 6am, alone and an easy target for anything from cars to people. The treadmill on the other hand is indoors and, if in a gym, in a place where there are plenty of people around and I feel 100% safe.

Secondly: injury. I don’t mean getting an injury (although a wrong step on an uneven path can definitely mess you up!). I’m talking about if you’re already injured. I’ve been dealing with serious IT band pain over the past year and I’ve had a few incidents where I ran a couple miles away from home, my injury acted up, and I had a hard time getting back to my apartment. The treadmill, on the other hand, is a great way to test your capabilities without risking getting stuck far from home. Plus, if you find out a mile in that it’s not going to happen, you can switch to a different kind of workout right away.

Another great thing about the treadmill? You HAVE to run as fast as you set it! I know sometimes I’ll aim for a pace when I’m running outdoors but get distracted by things around me or my own thoughts and start slowing down. The treadmill is a great way to get in speed work and really push yourself. Although if you’re training for a race, definitely do some paced runs on your own so you know how it feels!

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Lastly, I love the treadmill because everything I need is right there. Although my gym doesn’t have those fancy individual TVs on each machine, there are large TVs and running in the morning is the only time I can watch the news! Also, my water bottle is right there so I don’t have to worry about water fountains working or finding one, and there’s a bathroom nearby. No one wants to experience needing a bathroom on a run but being miles from one… Don’t even think I wasn’t going to go there.

Even with all of these great reasons, I’m sure you are all thinking: but I HATE the treadmill! Well, calm yourself, because I’ve got some ways to make treadmill running a little more bearable!



1) Bring Entertainment. Unlike running outdoors, when you run on the treadmill you can bring things with you. For example, an iPad or Kindle are great for watching a TV show or reading a book while you run or walk. These are perfect for steady runs where you just want to zone out on something else.

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2) Make a great playlist. No matter what my mood, a great playlist can make any run more bearable. Personally I have a couple on my phone that I can alternate between, some being really upbeat to get me going and others that are more calm if I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Also, reward yourself for hitting running milestones or other achievements by buying new music! I like to buy new music and then only allow myself to listen to it on the treadmill, that way I have one more reason to look forward to my run!

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3) Vary your speed. The BEST way to entertain yourself on the treadmill is to vary your speed. This gives you a bit of a challenge and paying attention to your intervals makes time fly. Try using a workout that you find online, like my 3 Mile HIIT running workout, or just start messing around with speed on your own. Go back and forth between high and low speed based on distance or time, or gradually build up throughout your run.

4) Make up stories in your head. Okay, yes this one is a little more “out there” but it’s by far my favorite way to spend my time on the treadmill. If you’re ready to just settle in to a nice pace and zone out, then I recommend using your imagination (I do this outside as well). The other day I had a 3 mile run and ended up getting so distracted in my imagination that I ran an extra 0.2 before realizing it.

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So what do I think about? Usually I’m the hero of some sort of story, for example: saving a kidnapped child, but being shot in the process so then I’m in the hospital and people are visiting me and of course the gorgeous doctor thinks I’m amazing and asks me out… and you see how this goes. It may seem weird, but it really kills time and you forgot you’re running!

So there you have it: four great ways to make the treadmill a little more bearable!

 

Are you training for a race?

Do you run on the treadmill or outside more?

Do you have a vivid imagination?



 

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